#BESTCHRISTMASEVER: Why You Should Sign Up for an Alternative Winter Break

by GoAbroad Writing Team
Closeup of Christmas bells on a Christmas tree
Meaningful travel rings tried-and-true during the Holiday season!

Yup, it’s that time of year— time to put away the pumpkin in exchange for some peppermint. Instead of breezing through finals just to do your standard holiday-break-thang (you know, Elf reruns and late night trips to the Taco Bell drive thru), why not consider participating in an alternative winter break?! From France to India and volunteering to learning a language, here’s our short-list of Santa-approved winter programs to sign up for and end your year with a bang:

1. Spend a Christmas Holiday in France

Looking forward to celebrating the holidays abroad? How would you like to experience southwest France at Christmas time? Consider a three-week alternative winter break in France that combines the perfect Christmas experience in France with all the highlights of French culture. This winter program allows you to see exactly what happens at Christmas time in France. La Giraudiere, the hosting organizations, believes that having students of different cultures and experiences living together creates the best results in regards to the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and life experiences. 

The Eiffel Tower at night
Trade in those lights on a tree to be dazzled by views of lights on the Eiffel Tower come Christmas Eve

There’s no need to study alone at Christmas when you can join future friends for winter break study abroad in France. Whether it’s studying modern and historical France, experiencing local French village life, or visiting the excursions and attractions, your Christmas holiday in France is sure to fulfill all of your dreams.

2. Learn Arabic In Egypt this Winter Season

Spice up your holiday celebrations this year by participating in Christmas Arabic language courses! These winter break programs for college students are suitable for all levels and combine years of Arabic language teaching experience with the newest and most creative methods for mastering a new language. Placement tests are on the day of arrival, and students are then assigned to the appropriate class level. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced speaker, there is an option for everyone! 

The Saturday through Thursday schedule also allows students time for social and cultural activities—and for some of that last-minute Christmas shopping. Spend this winter enjoying beautiful, cultural Egypt through an alternative winter break program!

Egyptian pyramids
Wake up on Christmas and treat yourself to a view of Egyptian pyramids

3. Christmas in Spain (con Spanish courses)

Experience Christmas in Spain, including many holiday celebrations! With the one or two week Enforex Christmas program, students enjoy traditional Spanish celebrations and work on language skills at the same time. In addition to the 20 Spanish lessons per week, the school organizes excursions and cultural activities such as visits to typical Spanish Christmas gatherings, nativity exhibits, and Epiphany parades. 

One major perk of winter break trips for college students to Spain is that courses fall in an off-peak period; as such, museums and other sites of interest are often less crowded than at other times of the year. While Spanish classes are held throughout the entire holiday season, the schools observe the 25th of December, the 1st of January, and other local/special holidays, so you’ll have plenty of time to get in the Spanish-style holiday spirit!

4. Volunteer Programs in India – Delhi & Dharamsala

If you’re seeking to make a global impact this holiday season, why not join a winter break volunteer abroad program in India? Participants can also join any of the other ongoing volunteer programs available in all countries during winter break, as all the programs run throughout the year!

View of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India
Celebrate the holidays and the new year by visiting one of the great wonders of the world

Consider participating in a winter study abroad program in New Delhi, where students can take part in a variety of meaningful experiences. One such opportunity involves working for a street children project, giving participants the chance to to boost children’s holistic growth and development. Participants also usually assist in providing love, care, basic literacy, and recreational activities to the children.

What better present to give this season than the gift of giving back?

5. Winter Volunteering in Haiti

How would you like to be a part of youth-based winter programs this holiday season? For many of Haiti’s citizens, Christmas is an immensely important holiday, yet many children aren’t always able to observe the occasion. By participating in a winter break volunteer abroad program, participants help engender the enjoyment that many children around the world receive on the holidays. 

There is a need in Haiti for those who can and those who are willing to help fill the void in the lives of children that have lost the family that once supported and nurtured them. Volunteer organizations in Haiti seek to give children the care, attention, support, and experiences they are missing. These are the same experiences many have cherished themselves and now desire to re-create for others!

Closeup of red ornaments on a Christmas tree
Decorate your holiday with a little more than ornaments this year!

That’s a Wrap on Winter Programs!

The holidays make room, in a year full of schedules, timelines, and to-do lists, for slowing down, connecting with and appreciating one another. Take this concept to the next level—the global level—and spend your holiday season abroad on an alternative winter break, celebrating and appreciating cultures from all over the world (and don’t worry about that homesickness thing, we’ve got you covered!).

What better way to engage in meaningful travel than by signing up for winter break programs for college students and finding new ways to rejoice for all of life’s precious gifts?

Deck those halls with boughs of memories abroad! However you celebrate around the world this holiday season, the GoAbroad Team wishes you happy tidings!